Leading Community Bank Private Equity Firm Backs Spinoff
of Company behind ‘REAL’ Banking-as-a-Service
August 11, 2022
CONTACT: Melissa Otten
SIOUX FALLS, SD – Central Payments, architect of the award-winning Open*CP Fintech API MarketplaceSM and the country’s fastest growing prepaid card issuer*, announced today that it has completed a $30 million growth equity raise. Castle Creek Capital led the round with additional investment from Launchpad Capital. The transaction spins the banking-as-a-service leader out from Central Bank of Kansas City and further accelerates its rapid growth trajectory.
“Since inception, we have remained steadfast in our belief that new technology and the stability of a bank charter create opportunity for banks in fintech and embedded finance, while others may have perceived a threat,” said Central Payments Founder & President Trent Sorbe. “This raise will enable us to continue trailblazing with our Technology | Charter | ChoiceSM approach.”
“We see the future opportunity for banks in embedded finance and fintech. Central Payments’ team of fintech bankers and its Open*CP API platform are lynch pins for those relationships,” said Tony Scavuzzo, Managing Principal at Castle Creak Capital. “Trent and his team at Central Payments saw this opportunity and executed on it before most knew what ‘banking-as-a-service’ meant.”
The transaction also serves as the inaugural investment for Castle Creek Launchpad Fund I. Launchpad Capital, an Oakland-based venture firm, recently announced its joint venture with Castle Creek and the closing of its new $90 million fund, raised from 34 community banks. “We’re backing innovators and new financial technologies,” said Launchpad Capital’s founder Ryan Gilbert, who added: “Central Payments’ origin inside a community bank and its positioning at the intersection of banking, payments and fintech made it an ideal first investment for our new fund.”
Sorbe founded Central Payments in 2014 with Central Bank of Kansas City (CBKC), one of the country’s leading Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI). Steve Giles, CEO of CBKC, recalls: “Central Payments grew from a vision of expanding CBKC’s reach among low and moderate income consumers through products like payroll cards, prepaid cards, and remittances.” The Bank will continue as an investor, issuer, and strategic partner. Proceeds from the raise will be used to facilitate strategic growth initiatives such as additional investments in technology, product, and staffing. Giles adds: “This transaction allows Central Payments to expand on the original vision, and we’re excited to remain a part of it.”
The Central Payments leadership team remains intact, and a board of directors is expected to be announced shortly. The company will also soon share exciting plans for its Falls Fintech accelerator, which focuses on fast-tracking market readiness for early-stage financial technology startups.
In conjunction with the announcement, Central Payments has dropped a new episode of its Fintech Brews & News podcast. Sorbe and co-host Nikkee Rhody talk with Scavuzzo and Gilbert about what brought the teams together and the shared vision for community banking, fintech, and the embedded finance market. The company is also hosting an open webcast for all interested partners, prospects, vendors, and industry followers to discuss the transaction and Central Payments’ future plans. Details are available on the Central Payments’ LinkedIn page and at Central-Payments.com.
About Central Payments
Central Payments provides payments technology and issuing solutions for fintech and embedded finance businesses. The company’s Open*CP API MarketplaceSM is one of the only true banking-as-a-service payments platforms built fintech bankers with issuing capability embedded. Open*CP’s vertical integration and its native-to-the-cloud technology are the drivers responsible for Central Payments’ rise to the fastest growing prepaid card issuer since 2015*. The company also operates Falls Fintech, its startup fintech accelerator and produces Fintech Brews & News, a podcast devoted to helping bridge the gap between banking, startups, and the entire fintech industry. Visit Central-Payments.com and FallsFintech.com for more information.
* Source: The Nilson Report, 2015 to present.
About Castle Creek Capital
Castle Creek is a premier partner and capital provider to community banks and financial service companies. Located in San Diego, California and Dallas, Texas, the firm has been a leading investor in community banking since its inception in 1990, having raised and managed eight private equity funds and multiple special situations funds.
About Launchpad Capital
Launchpad Capital (www.launchpad.vc) is an early-stage venture capital firm investing in the future of finance. Based in Oakland, CA, the firm has invested in over 50 financial services innovators from seed through Series B.
About Central Bank of Kansas City
Since 1951, Central Bank of Kansas City (CBKC) has delivered affordable financial services, products and education for Kansas City and surrounding communities. CBKC is a $350 million asset community bank located in the historic Northeast KC area. Since 1998, CBKC has been certified by the U.S. Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). As a CDFI, CBKC directs capital to underserved communities through financing high-impact, mission-focused projects. Learn more at centralbankkc.com. Member FDIC.